BlitZ 25g/100liters Electric Biab Setup V2.0

Post #1 made 2 years ago
Hi,
first sorry if some phrases or words doesn't sound right, is difficult to explain technical things in english!

after a year working on it, finally complete my Electric Biab setup, 100liters pot for 14g/52liters of finished product, dual 2kw elements with auto/manual control panel, electric stirrer and hoist, all on a mobile rack.

A couple of years ago i made this biab setup with low costs elements with simple manual regulators, but it was a pain to work with, always manually stirring, difficult to hold steady temperature and also had problem with schorched wort (here the link viewtopic.php?f=24&t=2437 ).

I choose the automatic stirrer path because i want that every brew is repeatable, distribute the heat evenly, mix the wort and keep the wort/water around elements in movement.
Stirrer is based on automotive wiper motor, with a couple of blades attached. Bag is hold to walls of the pot with a selfmade cage, everything inside and outside the Pot is stainless steel (304 or 316) or food grade silicone.
In future i could add a pump or use it in parallel with the stirrer, right now after few tests everything is working right.

Also made a control panel to automate everything with a raspberry Pi, wireless controlled. The panel has dual mode
- automatic: everything controlled via StrangeBrew Elsinore software (pid with ssr, digital thermo probe,etc.)
- Manual: old fashion way, manual on/off switches for Elements/stirrer, and regulation via SCR circuits for the elements.

here the detailed Control Panel build viewtopic.php?f=154&t=3527


Starting from the bottom...mounted a kitchen hood to remove steam (found a nice offer online) in the garage/brewery corner.
modified the stand built in 2013, now it has 4 wheels (lockable), add some soldered plate to reinforce the structure, after that used a stainless steel sheet (bended on the corners) to cover the top part.
Image


I Made a "separation layer" so the bag doesn't touch the elements, used a perforated stainless steel sheet (2mm thick), cutted and bended on the sides and supported by large bolts with smooth body, everything is 304 SS.
Bought a SS bar (15mm x 15mm), made the hole and threaded for the wiper motor, rounded the upper side with a flex.
Image


Working on the lid, holes for the stirrer shaft and supporting plate, flex cut for the charging/inspection door, installing it.
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Wiper support plate. Blades made with 3 or 5mm sheet (don't remember) flex cutted then bended with a long bar, to give a direction for mixing the grain bed, then sanded and smooothed
Image
Last edited by blitz on 25 Feb 2016, 22:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #2 made 2 years ago
Here is the cage, made with 0,8mm sheet, soft enough to be hand bended, hard enough (once fixed with screws) to hold the bag in place. manufacture is not perfect, in fact cage "swell" in the center, but nothing impacting functionality
Image



Everything assembled for testing, screws will be cut to size.
Image


One lid is dedicated to mash/mashout operation, for the boil? I've used another lid, cut an opening for my custom hop spider (made with SS boiler hose). The external parts of the lid help to reduce boil ratio, also with the remaining metal i've made a top cap that can be used to further reduce boil steam if needed.
Image



Didn't want to mess with a sight glass or etch the pot, so i build a simple SS bar 40cm long for volume measurement, fixed with a screw (and butterfly nut) at the top of the pot, it level itself when mounted.
I've take readings of volume of 5liters blocks, and after that with "punches" engraved the bar.
Really useful for water, preboil and postboil volume readings, easy to clean (one butterfly nut to unscrew and is done)

Image




Finally dry test!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpgfEz4KP6k
Last edited by blitz on 25 Feb 2016, 23:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #3 made 2 years ago
Here the elements, custom made in italy, Aisi 321 Stainless Steel body and 304 top cap, Ulwd (7w/cm2) so i don't have to worry a lot about scorching the wort again :peace:, fixed in place with washer and locknut, filled with high temp (200° c) food grade silicone, specifically for wine, beer, milk tanks/taps. In last picture the 1/2" thermowell for probe (pid control)
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Everything sanded, washed and cleaned for the final assembly. The false bottom have 10 SS nut to evenly distribute the grain/ cage weight
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Wiper motor plate, motor mounted with thermal wire cover,stirrer blades, and finally the "headframe" assembled outside the pot.
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Other details, stirrer, elements cover (silicone sealed), thermo probe, etc.
Image
Last edited by blitz on 25 Feb 2016, 23:47, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #4 made 2 years ago
To insulate the pot i've used on the bottom a wood panel, covered with a cork layer, on the sides, heat reflective radiator panels, fixed with "automotive straps"
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Final pictures, and video (sorry in italian!) of wet test with 19g/73liters in mash and 15g/58liters in boil
Image
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwWuuKrFatA" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;





Last saturday have a brew at upper limit of the rig (1.060 OG, 86l of wort, 68l in boil, 52l in fermenter) and everything work flawlessly! I've got higher efficiency than old setup (5% more for Biabacus). I will post a thread of the brew day.
Minimal residue on the elements, easy cleaned with scotchbrite pads. I've found something interesting....while measuring temperature thought i would find higher temperature in the bottom of the pot, where the elements are mounted, below the bag. instead i found maybe half or one degree more (have to check better) in the upper side of the pot, inside the cage/bag during mash.



I know it's a long thread with lots of picture,hope you like it :cry:

If someone have questions i would be glad to answer


Cheers guys :thumbs:
Last edited by blitz on 26 Feb 2016, 00:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #5 made 2 years ago
Blitz - great pictures, thanks for sharing. Inspiring! Now you can reap the rewards of all your hard work with some brews.
Thanks for sharing.
Pete
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Post #6 made 2 years ago
As mentioned in your other thread, when I saw it, I thought I had stumbled onto an aeronautical engineer's forum :lol:.

You have some fantastic technical skills and knowledge Blitz :clap: :salute: :thumbs:.

I imagine you have had a lot of fun on this project and it must have taken ages. Bloody big set-up too; definitely not for the faint-hearted - you might even have to start selling your beer :o.

Can you make me something that automates cleaning and sanitising my kegs please?

:)
PP
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Post #7 made 2 years ago
I really enjoyed reading that Blitz, congratulations!

You will have to let us know if you think it has met your expectations after using it a few times.

Your design is very similar to one I considered too, as I was always annoyed with the bag floating in the wort and getting wrapped around something or caught up etc.
SMEAGOL GROGMEISTER 2.jpg
In the above pic I wanted a manual up/down operation too, but at least you had the conviction to do something about it! :clap:
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Last edited by mally on 26 Feb 2016, 16:03, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #8 made 2 years ago
Thanks guys,
i was really scared from past experience about heating elements during mash, if stirrer was not good enough for the task, plan B was to add a pump.

PistolPatch: the big pot is a bitch to clean! I hope one day to make some CIP system!


Next week will do another batch, i'll let you know!


Adriano
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